Maybe you, like me, have a lovely home. But a home that has many very simple, builder-grade qualities that are lacking any real character. And if you are like me, your home is at least 10 years old and many of those builder-grade qualities are not only lacking character but they are also significantly outdated.
I have been knocking out one small project at a time over the last 3 years in an attempt to bring character and an overall updated look to our pretty little home. And when I say one project at a time, I literally mean, it took me over a year to paint the entire interior because I could only afford one gallon of paint at a time.
Our latest project was updating this little half bath off of our pool. It is our only bathroom on the lower level and therefor gets a ton of traffic. We didn’t have the financial resources to do a complete makeover (i.e. cabinetry and floors) so I used what resources we did have to do a mini make-over that has done wonders for this space. Here is the BEFORE.
(this “before” picture was actually after we had already painted the cabinetry and added hardware.
the photo below is exactly what the cabinetry looked like,
no hardware, color, etc., stock mirror unframed and the old faucet as well.
and sweet adee all little & chubby.)
If you are on a budget but want an updated beautiful bathroom, here are my Tips For Adding Character To A Builder-Grade Bathroom:
- The most simplest and efficient way to add instant character to a home is to add woodwork. It immediately feels custom. Adding woodwork in a bathroom is a great place to start simply because it is a smaller space making the investment (both cost & time) minimal.
- If the bathroom will not experience a ton of humidity (i.e. a half bath with no shower) wallpaper is also an excellent option.
- Don’t be afraid to be bold. Think of this space like an accent to your home, like a throw pillow, if you will.
- See a few of my favorite bathroom wall treatment inspirations here.
- NOTE: My dad did all the woodwork for us! Hooray for dads who double as licensed contractors. We would never have attempted this on our own (Aaron and I are the WORST at DIYs, did you see my weekend recap?!) and had begun saving to hire a contractor to do the work. For us, paying someone to do this would have been more than worth it to us. Instead we were able to give my dad a little Florida vacation (although it did rain his entire visit), time with his daughter, son-in-law and grandkids, a lot of good food and plenty of laughs.
- A quick and simple and relatively inexpensive option to updating the stock cabinetry in your bathroom is to paint them.
- TIP: Use a good primer and then no sanding is necessary. My favorite primer is oil-based, sticks to literally anything (and I have painted TONS of furniture pieces that get a lot of use): Zinsser Primer
- Again, don’t be afraid to make a bold statement here. I was SUPER close to painting our cabinetry black and still love this bathroom so much. If it’s a small cabinet, adding a pop of color would be so much fun!!
- A simple solution to the stock builder-grade mirror that plagues all of our bathrooms is to either frame it or replace it. We opted to frame ours in to create a built-in look with the board & batten. But replacing the mirror completely would be beautiful as well!
- This is a helpful tutorial for framing out your bathroom mirror and similar to the way we (I mean my dad) did ours.
- Updating your hardware is simple & inexpensive.
- Think knobs, handles, towel holders, toilet paper holders and your faucet. We replaced out all of those in the same brushed nickel finish to create consistency.
- Lighting can be a bit more of an investment but it doesn’t have to be super expensive. Replacing a dated shiny brass fixture with an updated fixture in the same finish as the rest of your hardware is always a good investment!
accessories & art
- Adding accessories and art is like jewelry, it finishes the space.
- My favorite must-have accessories: basket with extra towels and/or toilet paper, live plants & small lamp (tiny lamps in little spaces are my favorite and they add such warmth to a space!)
- I also love a good hand soap and soft scented candle.
- And don’t forget a little accent rug. Something soft under your feet does double duty as it covers up ugly tile and/or soaks up water from little pool feet.
What do you think? Are these tips helpful and somewhat manageable?
Just remember, the effort and cost involved is so worth the end result!!